5 December 2013 - Electronic Certificates of Title in NSW
With the commencement of electronic Conveyancing in New South Wales, LPI has released a training video to help practitioners better understand arrangements to deal with certificates of title in the initial stages of implementation of National Electronic Conveyancing in NSW. The video explains:
•The alternative to the certificate of title, called optional No-CT.
•How to check if a paper certificate of title, or CT, has issued.
•What has changed with the introduction of optional No-CT for paper transactions.
•Arrangements for optional No-CT and electronic transactions.
•Safeguards supporting optional No-CT.
2 December 2013 - Slater & Gordon UK Has Now Reached Scale of Australian Business
28 November 2013 - New Cloud-Based Marketing Service for Busy Lawyers
For lawyers who would like to have their marketing done for them, Lift Legal has arrived. Lift Legal is a new cloud-based software company that is progressively releasing a range of innovative marketing products created especially for law firms.
Lift Legal has been formed by two lawyers - Brian Hicks and Peter Heazlewood. They have been former Managing Partners of progressive law firms with both having had over 20 years in legal practice.
The company’s first product is an electronic newsletter that is sent to law firm clients and referrers. As an added bonus, Lift Legal will write the newsletter articles. It is up to the law firm to choose this option.
After the newsletter is sent, the software enables the law firm to review who has opened the emails, how many times the email was opened, how many clicks each email has had, and provides a “call list” for the law firm, showing the most interested clients.
This information enables the law firm to make contact with those identified clients who are most interested in a particular article or topic. No longer do law firms have to wait for work to come in. The software enables the firm to be proactive and stimulate demand.
Law firms are also using the software to send out Christmas cards electronically to clients and referrers. For readers of Legal Practice Intelligence, you can take up an early bird offer if you register your interest before Friday 6th December at: www.liftlegal.com.au/christmascards
26 November 2013 - New Online Community For The Professional Services
Find out more
22 November 2013 - NSW Conveyancing – Is the Upturn Sustainable?
For NSW: The month of October 2013 had the highest number of property transfers compared to any October since 2007.
The number of property transfers in October 2013 was 22% higher than October 2012.
How many other markets in the economy grew in size by 22% over the past year? Which markets for legal work have grown by 22%? We don’t know the answers to these questions but clearly conveyancing is a lot more attractive than it has been over the last few years.
October 2013 was 37% higher than October 2011 (the bottom) but still 4% lower than October 2007 (the peak).
In round numbers conveyancing activity is 20% higher in NSW than it was in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Our prediction is that while property prices do not decline, sales volumes will continue at current levels or better. People like to buy in a market when prices are rising and people like to sell in a market when prices are rising. Whatever the reason, as long as prices do not go into reverse, the current level of sales activity looks to be sustainable.
20 November 2013 - Marriage Creates Justice Connect
18 November 2013 - LAWYAL Solicitors - Starting A New Law Firm From The Cloud Up
14 November 2013 - An Estimate of The Size of The Family Law Market
As part of the recent company AGM, Managing Director of Slater & Gordon, Andrew Grech, provided a summary of the company's recent activities and plans. The estimate of the size of the family law market in Australia is stated as "at least A$400 million" (below from 1:56).
12 November 2013 - Tindall Gask Bentley Has Opened a Full Service Office in Perth
Tindall Gask Bentley is known as South Australia's largest plaintiff law firm with over 100 staff with 50 lawyers. Click image below to read about its expansion into Western Australia.
12 November 2013 - Current Conveyancing Activity Compared to Last Year
For at least two years we have been keeping an eye out for an upturn in property sales activity across Australia.
In the first quarter of this calendar year, Western Australia and South Australia started to show a positive trend. In the middle of the year Queensland was up strongly. During winter NSW and Victoria started to improve.
In August 2013 the Reserve Bank reduced the benchmark interest rate from 2.75% to 2.5%. Combined with other factors this has had the following impact:
Increase in the volume of property transfers compared to last year:
NSW 23%, Victoria 38%, Queensland 8%, Western Australia 11%, South Australia 33%.
(NSW, Victoria – September 2013 compared to September 2012; Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia – September and October 2013 combined compared to equivalent months of 2012)
Increase in capital city dwelling values - from October 2012 to October 2013 (Source RPData):
Sydney 11.6%, Melbourne 7.8%, Brisbane 3.4%, Perth 6.9%, Adelaide 1.9%
6 November 2013 - Insurance Team of 23 Moves from DLA Piper to HWL Ebsworth
From official announcement:
Leading independent Australian law firm HWL Ebsworth Lawyers has announced that Jenne Tzavaras, Joanna Apostolopoulos and Ivan Medak have been appointed as partners within its Sydney Insurance team.
Jenne, Joanna and Ivan are joined by twenty other team members in moving from DLA Piper to HWL Ebsworth.
This newly recruited team offers specific expertise in statutory workers compensation insurance across the full range of employer indemnity schemes operating in New South Wales.
In a joint statement, the new partners said "We are delighted to be joining a firm that is so closely aligned culturally and strategically with our insurance practice. Our mutual success has been built on a service offering that delivers commercially and technically outstanding legal advice and unsurpassed value for money. Moving to HWL Ebsworth enables us to continue to service our clients in this way".
Following these appointments, HWL Ebsworth offers domestic and global clients a national team of 35 partners and supporting teams specialising in insurance related matters.
"This is a significant investment for our firm and one that will allow us to continue to broaden the range of services provided to our insurance and non-insurance clients" said Juan Martinez, HWL Ebsworth's Managing Partner. "This is a rare opportunity to secure the services of one of Australia's premier specialist insurance teams and we are delighted to welcome Jenne, Joanna, Ivan and the broader team to HWL Ebsworth".
"The name HWL Ebsworth has been inextricably linked to the insurance sector for its entire history. While much of the firm's recent growth has been in sectors such as Banking & Finance, Property, Building & Construction, Planning & Environment, Litigation and Commercial, we refuse to be complacent and we are continuously looking for quality opportunities to broaden our offering in each of our core service areas" added Juan.
6 November 2013 - LawPath Introduces Cost Effective Legal Document Creation Service For SMEs
From official announcement:
LawPath, Australia’s largest and fastest growing legal platform, has launched a fast, easy and cost-effective downloadable legal template service for SMEs.
At launch, LawPath will offer 11 of the more commonly sought legal agreements, contracts and policies such as employment contracts and shareholder agreements, available for purchase in template form with the option of a review by an Australian specialist lawyer if required.
The 11 templates, priced between $39.95 and $149.95, are purchased and customised by the user online and downloaded from the LawPath website, with a cost saving to small businesses potentially in the thousands of dollars.
LawPath co-founder and CEO Paul Lupson said the current templates were the first of more than 50 they will offer by early next year.
“LawPath connects people and businesses that are in need of legal assistance, and sometimes that need is only for a legally sound document into which they can add their details and requirements without the need to actually engage a lawyer directly,” Mr Lupson said.
“The solution allows the customer to purchase and complete the document by themselves, or if required go a step further and have a lawyer review it for them to ensure it’s correctly completed. Even with a review, the cost savings to small business are likely to be in the thousands of dollars,” he said.
LawPath launched earlier this year, and the initial templates reflect the most commonly asked questions the platform has been facilitating.
4 November 2013 - New Pictures of Corrs 8 Chifley Office Fitout
1 November 2013 - New Portal Simplifies Search for CPD/CLE
Bulletpoints.com.au is a one-stop portal where you can find continuing education from a range of providers. There are courses in a variety of formats including seminar attendance and online video.
With Bulletpoints you no longer need to search through brochures or multiple provider websites.
The founders of Bulletpoints are Jason Elias and Jonathan Seifman. Jason is also the Director of Elias Recruitment.
Prior to co-founding Bulletpoints, Jonathan was CCH’s Director of Books, Education and Mobile Content for Australia & NZ.
Having both worked in the legal services industry for a number of years, Jason and Jonathan saw how many brochures for CPD events ended up either in lawyers’ bins or in a massive pile in a folder that gathered dust. They believed there had to be an easier way and Bulletpoints was born.
Bookings for courses can be done directly through the Bulletpoints website. You can also track your points through a personalised CPD Tracker.
Once you have selected your preferences you will receive customised email alerts on legal topics of interest.
Visit Bulletpoints at www.bulletpoints.com.au
30 October 2013 - Keystone Law Asks Australian Solicitors to Join the Future
29 October 2013 - Shine Lawyers Has No Plans to Enter the Market for Wills and Conveyancing
25 October 2013 - Sydney and Melbourne based firm Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) has merged with Brisbane firm Hemming+Hart
Sydney and Melbourne based firm Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) has merged with Brisbane firm Hemming+Hart.
The new firm, which will operate under the CBP brand, will be launched on 4 November 2013.
"After our expansion into Melbourne last year, it was the next logical step to open an office in Brisbane. CBP’s coverage is now across the eastern seaboard so we can offer a wider geographical reach to our clients," managing partner Dunstan de Souza said.
"As the firm continues to service clients on a national scale, the move into Brisbane will ensure that we continue to expand in the areas where our clients need us. It makes sense that we can serve our clients better by joining forces with a strong Queensland firm."
Jon Meadmore, the managing partner of Hemming+Hart, said: "We see this merger as a vital strategic step in servicing national clients with multi-state operations. Hemming+Hart is a proud Queensland firm and we look forward to the natural progression to an eastern seaboard firm in
the new entity." Meadmore will assume the national role of Head of Commercial in the new firm.
The Hemming+Hart lawyers will dramatically increase CBP’s commercial and corporate practice while also adding expertise to its construction and property teams.
The merger will take partner numbers to 53 and staff numbers to over 300. CBP's recent growth has been extraordinary, with partner numbers doubling since 2011.
"We are delighted to have teamed up with Hemming+Hart," said de Souza. "They are leaders in their fields of expertise and I'm confident that the new firm will go from strength to strength. Our combined expertise and wider geographic coverage across the three states will bring significant benefits to both our clients and our staff.
"We predict that our Brisbane office will double in size within the next two years and we expect to be making more announcements in the very near future."
Hemming+Hart is a six partner firm.
24 October 2013 - E-Conveyancing Settlements to Cost Less than Manual Settlements
22 October 2013 - Cut Backs to Justice
click above image to read article
21 October 2013 - Victorian Law Reform Commission Final Report on Succession Laws
This is the first ever comrehensive formal review of the Administration and Pro Act 1958 (Vic). The report contains 78 recommendations that cover this Act and more, including:
"A new provision should be inserted into the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) to the effect that an executor may receive commission from the assets of an estate provided that the executor obtains the fully informed consent of all interested beneficiaries."
"The Supreme Court should have the power to review and vary commission, charges and disbursements claimed by executors and administrators out of estates. A new provision of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic), based on section 86A of the Probate and Administration Act 1898 (NSW), should provide that:
(a) the court may review all or part of a commission or amount charged or proposed to be charged in respect of any estate
(b) if it finds it is excessive, the court may reduce it even if it was authorised by a provision in the will
(c) subject to any extension of time granted"
"The Legal Services Commissioner should be given jurisdiction to resolve a dispute between a legal practitioner and a beneficiary under a will about an amount charged to an estate for executorial services, where the disputed amount does not exceed $25,000."
"The Supreme Court of Victoria, in consultation with Victoria Legal Aid, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Federation of Community Legal Centres, should develop and make available on its website in community languages a package of information for those wishing to seek a grant of representation without professional assistance."
Link to report
17 October 2013 - Corrs Embraces Office Workspace of the Future
click above image to read article
16 October 2013 - GlobalX and NECDL to Host Free E-conveyancing Events Around Australia
click above image
12 October 2013 - GlobalX Information AnnounceThird Acquisition Ahead of E-conveyancing Launch
11 October 2013 - Electronic Conveyancing is Live in New South Wales
This week the NSW land registry (LPI) announced:
LPI successfully registered its first electronic transaction through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). The first transaction in New South Wales – a discharge of mortgage – means that National Electronic Conveyancing is under way with PEXA now processing electronic transactions in two States, Victoria having commenced in June 2013.
PEXA is the electronic conveyancing platform developed by National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL). Release 1 of PEXA provides functionality to process mortgages, discharges of mortgage and re-finance transactions and will be progressively expanded over the next year to include additional States and major financial institutions.
Release 2 is scheduled to go live in a number of increments over the coming year. This will allow solicitors and conveyancers to use the system, first to lodge caveats, and in the 3rd quarter of next year to conduct conveyancing transactions, settling and lodging online, including the payment of stamp duty and other third party disbursements.
The launch is a significant milestone for the State and Territory governments and the conveyancing industry who have all worked collaboratively for a number of years to ensure National Electronic Conveyancing meets the requirements of all stakeholders and delivers economic benefits in New South Wales and across Australia.
Further updates on the progress of National Electronic Conveyancing in NSW can be viewed on our website http://necnsw.lpi.nsw.gov.au
10 October 2013 - Free Legal Advice - Not a Problem
From official announcement:
Small businesses in Perth’s north west metropolitan area will benefit from free legal advice thanks to a new service by Joondalup law firm Slater & Gordon.
In partnership with the Small Business Centre, Slater & Gordon Lawyers will offer free 20-minute consultations to small business owners on any business related legal issue.
Slater & Gordon’s commercial lawyer John Pitman said the new service, available from October 22, would support local small businesses in and around the Joondalup area.
“Perth’s north metropolitan region is one of the city’s fastest growing residential and commercial areas, and we’re looking forward to contributing to the development of local businesses,” Mr Pitman said.
“Small businesses are an important part of our economy and community, so it is crucial for owners to get the right legal advice to help prevent any long term problems.
“Issues of partnership disputes, lease reviews and succession planning commonly confront small business owners, and through this new service we’ll be able to offer high quality legal advice and assistance.”
Small Business Centre North West Metro manager Mark Diggins said there were around 24,500 small businesses in the region which provided local jobs and added to the local economy.
“A lot of small businesses these days don’t necessarily know where to turn for legal help sometimes and it can be difficult to find good quality advice and information,” Mr Diggins said.
“This free service is a unique initiative in Perth, and it is great to see such a well-known company doing their part for local small businesses.”
9 October 2013 - Migration and Population Growth Statistics
In the 12 month period to March 2013, 60% of total population growth was due to net overseas migration. Will the new federal government reduce immigration levels as unemployment increases? The number of unemployed persons has increased by around 90,000 in the last 12 months.
3 October 2013 - IMF Litigation Funding to Raise $31.4 Million Capital
click above image to read more
2 October 2013 - Job Vacancies Continue Downwards
The above chart shows the picture for the whole economy (source ABS). Private sector job vacancies are down by 21.2%, public sector down by 15.9% and for the private and public sector combined, down 20.8% over 12 months from August 2012 to August 2013.
Our independent research on the legal sector shows that the decline is following the same pattern as the general economy. In some job categories such as graduates and legal secretaries we believe the decline is greater than the average for the general economy.
On a historical scale, job vacancies now roughly equate to 2009 levels. The unemployment rate is also tracking close to that experienced in 2009. The key question is where do we go from here?
28 September 2013 - Powerful New Lead Generation Technology Will Revolutionise Business Development in Smaller Firms
26 September 2013 - LawyerSelect in the News
Learn more at www.lawyerselect.com.au
25 September 2013 - The NSW DUI Court Bible
The reality is that a certain proportion of people will represent themselves in court. The self-represented who have been charged with Drink Driving now have a new resource available to help them: The NSW DUI Court Bible, priced at $97.00.
The authors of the NSW DUI Court Bible are “a couple of individuals who have vast experience in representing people for drink driving related matters in New South Wales.”
“In a nutshell we will show you how to represent yourself in Court for a drink driving offence & prepare a strong case.”
“The NSW DUI Court Bible should not be taken as legal advice. Instead it should be used for information purposes only and an informative presentation of material to help guide you through the Court process. If you want legal advice then you should engage the services of a NSW traffic lawyer.”
Above quotes from http://nswduicourtbible.com.au
20 September 2013 - Promoting Will Dispute and Conveyancing Services - New Videos from S&G
17 September 2013 - Competition Heats Up in Qld Personal Injury Market
click above image to read more
16 September 2013 - Website For Divorced Parents
click image to read article
16 September 2013 - US Litigation Firm Opens in Australia
Screenshot from Quinn Emanuel website
Quinn Emanuel has opened for business in Australia with an office in Sydney. A new (US) survey reveals its reputation as one of the firms that corporate counsel fear most:
Four firms strike fear in the hearts of corporate counsel more than any others thanks to their relentless approach to high-stakes litigation and a knack for building legal teams that go for the jugular, according to a new survey.
Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP carry those traits in abundance, according to a survey by The BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.), and were recognized as the "fearsome foursome" firms in the BTI Litigation Outlook 2014 report.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with general counsel and law department heads, these firms stood out as those most likely to trigger dread in opposing counsel for their tenacity and their ability to anticipate their legal opposition's strategy, said BTI President Michael Rynowecer.
“They have a take-no-prisoners attitude, and they don’t contemplate not winning,” Rynowecer said. “They bring the right people, the right chemistry. It’s all about the level of commitment, and not just in courtroom strategy, but in getting the right resources together.”
Read more: The 4 Firms In-House Counsel Fear Most
The office has been opened by Michael Mills and Michelle Fox, who have joined the firm from Herbert Smith Freehills. Michael and Michelle specialize in complex litigation across a number of practice areas, including securities, mass tort, products liability, directors and officers liability, class actions, insurance and reinsurance disputes, as well as financial services regulatory disputes. They are highly ranked by all top legal publications, including Chambers.
Link to video interview with John Quinn (Managing Partner) in The Australian
12 September 2013 - LinkedIn is Stealing Your Employees
click above image to read article
10 September 2013 - White Barnes Solicitors Joins Carroll & O'Dea
Screenshot composite from White Barnes website
A number of the partners and a team of lawyers from the Sydney based law firm White Barnes Solicitors have recently joined Carroll & O'Dea.
According to Carroll & O'Dea: "There has been a long association between Carroll & O’Dea and White Barnes with the two firms having much in common in terms of history; culture and community involvement.
"White Barnes has been a leading firm over the past 50 years, particularly in the area of compensation law. They have a number of large clients along with vast experience in compensation law, as well as employment law.
"The move creates an opportunity for Carroll & O’Dea to expand the compensation law and employment services it offers to clients in Western Sydney."
Carroll & O'Dea Managing Partner Howard Harrison: "White Barnes and Carroll & O'Dea joining forces means we can offer an expanded service to clients in Western Sydney, Regional and country locations which will be of great benefit to our clients."
Carroll & O'Dea (post merger) has 64 professional staff listed on its website. The firm has offices located in Sydney, Canberra, Parramatta, Newcastle, Wollongong, Campbelltown and Cabramatta.
4 September 2013 - Personal Injury Advertising Restrictions - Bad in Principle and Bad in Practice
2 September 2013 - Clayton Utz FY 2013 Results
Clayton Utz has published its 2012/13 financial year annual review. The numbers reveal a year of contraction.
Compared to 2011/12, the firm suffered a setback in fee revenue which declined by $18.7 million or -4.11% to $436.7 million.
There was a reduction in employee numbers. In 2011/12 the firm had around 1,700 employees. In 2013 it was around 1,500.
Partner earnings and profitability are not disclosed in the report.
With prices (average rates) increasing 3.1% in 2012/13 and a significant reduction in employee numbers, it is likely that average partner earnings were cushioned from the overall decline in revenue.
The firm produced 42,985 hours of pro bono work. This represented an average of 52.4 hours per lawyer. The report adds: “In October 2012, we passed the remarkable milestone of 400,000 hours of pro bono legal assistance, to low-income and disadvantaged people who could not obtain Legal Aid and to the non-profit organisations which support them. We have conducted the most pro bono work by any Australian law firm, and this year was the busiest since our Pro Bono practice began in 1997.”
30 August 2013 - LIV Legal Aid Campaign
28 August 2013 - Shine Lawyers FY 2013 Results
• Generally in line with expectations
• "Using 2013 results, Shine is capitalised at 15.5 times earnings and Slater & Gordon at 16.4 times". Read more
Dollar values below are in millions
28 August 2013 - The Great Conveyancing Boom of 2013
The Reserve Bank has pulled “the price boom trigger” says Robert Gottliebsen. He says most of the demand will be from investors, including those using their self-managed funds, plus the Chinese. "First home buyers will obviously contribute at the lower end."
It was reported [smh.com.au] that “New home loans approved by banks and other lenders jumped by 28 per cent to $79 billion in the June quarter, amid growing signs of a recovery in the residential property market.”
When will the boom kick off? Spring is only around the corner and it is known as one of the peak periods for real estate transactions.
Sales volumes during winter have been moving in the right direction in most States but NSW and Victoria seem to be taking the lazy route to the boom. See table below:
26 August 2013 - The Online WIlls Marketplace in Australia
click image to read article
22 August 2013 - Slater & Gordon 2012/13 Financial Results
19 August 2013 - NSW CTP Insurance Changes Abandoned
From the President of the Law Society of NSW:
"Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013 withdrawn
In a press release issued this morning, the Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance has announced the Government’s intention to withdraw the Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013 from Parliament. This decision recognises the level of opposition to the planned CTP reforms that would have slashed entitlements to pay for the Government’s no-fault scheme. I commend the government and the Minister for engaging in a process of meaningful consultation on this issue.
"I would like to thank the Law Society’s Injury Compensation Committee and Regional Law Society Presidents, as well as members and staff who have worked on this issue tirelessly over several months."
19 August 2013 - Slater & Gordon Shares in Trading Halt Pending Announcement
Click above image
15 August 2013 - ILH Group Full Year Financial Results
click above image to read article
14 August 2013 - The Smallest Firms are a Significant Source of Employment for Solicitors
The number of solicitors working in small firms has grown significantly in NSW. This has probably also been the case in other states.
Over the 12 months from August 2012 to August 2013, the number of solicitors working in all law firms increased by 558 (3.38%) in NSW. The distribution of the increase was as follows:
Sole practitioner firms: 404
2 to 4 partner firms: 37
5 to 10 partner firms: 113
11+ partner firm: 4
Almost 60% of the 404 increase in the sole practitioner category was not due to new firms starting up but an increase in employment in these firms.
The experience of the largest firms has mostly been in the opposite direction. Statistics published by the Australian Financial Review (28/6/13) for the eleven largest law firms as a group showed that partner numbers declined by 5.7% and non-partner fee earner numbers declined by 9.9% over 12 months. This was a net reduction of 883 people (Australia-wide) over the 2012/13 financial year.
12 August 2013 - Winning the More for Less Challenge
10 August 2013 - A Report that Thomsons and Herbert Geer are in Merger Talks
Click above image to read more
8 August 2013 - Two New Lead-Generation Websites for Lawyers
click each one below to visit websites
6 August 2013 - The Legal Startup that Started it All
Click image above to read article
2 August 2013 - Slater & Gordon Acquires Perth's Gibson & Gibson
2 August 2013 - ILH Group (Rockwell Olivier) Becomes Multi-Disciplinary
ILH Group Ltd has announced that it has an agreement to acquire Capricorn Investment Partners Limited (“CIPL”), and The Pentad Group (“Pentad”) subject to approval of the issue of shares at an Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) of shareholders.
The acquired businesses have annual revenues of $5.8 million made up of wealth management $3.4m, corporate advisory $2.0m and other $0.4m.
ILH proposes to acquire 100% of the shares in CIPL, and the business and assets of Pentad, for an initial consideration of $9.25m. The initial consideration will be satisfied by the proposed issue of 52.7m ILH shares at 9.0 cents per share and the payment of $4.51m cash. In addition, deferred consideration of up to $5.0m is payable over a two year period in scrip and cash if certain performance conditions are satisfied.
The initial cash component will be sourced from ILH’s existing cash reserves and borrowing capacity.
2 August 2013 - King & Wood Mallesons to Merge with UK's SJ Berwin
The combination will produce one of the top 25 law firms in the world by revenue, with 553 partners, 2,233 lawyers and 30 offices. Total turnover will be more than $1bn. Click image below to read more.
31 July 2013 - NSW Local Court Criminal Matters - Activity Down
Source: Local Court NSW Annual Review 2012. Further Excerpts below
Criminal matters in 2012 Between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012:
• 269,306 criminal matters were commenced in the Local Court, representing a decrease of 3.71% from the previous year.
• 268,177 criminal matters were finalised, giving a clearance ratio for the period of 99.69%.
In another development, the Online Court is discontinued:
Following its commencement in February 2011, the trial of an Online Court for the preliminary stages of committal proceedings at the Downing Centre involving legally represented defendants continued throughout 2012, until its conclusion on 31 December 2012.
A decision has been made not to continue use of Online Court at the present time, primarily due to low take-up rates in use of the system amongst legal practitioners and limitations that constrained the useability of the system in a court context. However, it is hoped the use of online systems can be revisited in the future.
29 July 2013 - $4 million For Rollout of Self-Representation Service
The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
26 July 2013 - NSW Government and Insurers Can't Guarantee Cheaper Green Slips
"The government and insurers backed away from the Finance Minister's promise the CTP reforms would reduce green slip bills by 15 per cent." The Daily Telegraph.
The CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia Mr Robert Whelan said CTP prices had been rising largely due to an increase in claims frequency and the impact of the global financial crisis, which had slashed the investment returns available from government bonds. This hurt the ability of insurers to ensure they had adequate capital to pay claims.
Comment: The increase in Green Slip prices was not caused by lawyers. Switching to a new system that tries to banish lawyers and is heavily biased in favour of the interests of insurance companies cannot possibly be the answer.
24 July 2013 - It's Flat At The Top
Minter Ellison’s fee revenue declined by 1% during 2012/13 to $416 million. This follows 8% growth during 2011/12.
In an interview with UK publication Legal Week, the firm’s Chief Executive Partner John Weber said: "It has been a flat year for us in terms of revenues, but looking at the market I think most of the major [Australian] firms would have negative revenue growth for this year, so we consider that a flat year is probably as good as it would get.”
It is reported that Minter Ellison is considering opening an office in Singapore and that around 25% of the firm’s revenue is currently generated by offshore work.
In round numbers, Minter Ellison has approximately 200 partners, 700 other fee earners and 800 administrative and support staff.
19 July 2013 - Legal Process Outsourcing Arrives for Small Law Firms
LPO Ezy is an Australian-founded business set up to provide legal process outsourcing for small to medium sized Australian law firms. For its first 3 ½ years, since 2009, the outsourcing company developed and refined its services with its “beta” clients.
Sydney-based Operations Manager Kato Simpson told Legal Practice Intelligence: “We cater to small and medium sized law firms including sole practitioners, barristers and medico legal departments. We offer consulting to any law firm interested in LPO.”
“Our paralegals and legal secretaries carry out a range of tasks. We do everything from phoning clients to arranging appointments; organising conferences with solicitors and counsel; drafting court documents, chronologies and pleadings; reviewing the status of matters; document review and much more.”
Kato Simpson explains: “Managing the change in processes and personnel is an important part for law firms as they realise the scope of what is on offer and the advantages they can reap.
“It's not simply a case of buying a product. It's the holistic approach we offer as an LPO. We work together with law firms to implement every step of the process and make it a smooth transition.”
Kato Simpson told Legal Practice Intelligence that LPO Ezy has staff based in the Philippines. “Confidentiality is our top priority” he emphasised.
To learn more about LPO Ezy visit www.lpoezy.com
17 July 2013 - Australia’s 16th Largest Law Firm is Not a Law Firm
Based on its cash receipts of $87 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2013, litigation funder IMF would be Australia’s 16th largest law firm . For the equivalent 12 months of the previous financial year (2011/12) receipts from settlements, fees and reimbursements were close to $75 million.
After paying $12.3 million in dividends to shareholders during the financial year, the company had almost $68 million in cash reserves as at 30 June 2013 (up from $62.4 million at 30 June 2012).
IMF is increasing its activities in overseas markets such as the United States to pursue growth in its investment in cases.
Click image above to access the company's ASX announcements page.
 This is an estimate only. Based on the size of its cash receipts, Legal Practice Intelligence estimates that if IMF were a law firm it would currently rank as Australia’s 16th largest.
16 July 2013 - A Credo for All Professional Services Firms
12 July 2013 - Small Law Firms Can Adopt the Tactics of Startup Businesses
The internet opens up possibilities for small law firms to adopt any variety of tactics to acquire new clients. Here is an example of one firm doing it. Click image below.
10 July 2013 - Law Students Concerned About Legal Process Outsourcing
click image below to read more at survivelaw.com
8 July 2013 - Top 20 Firms Receiving NSW Legal Aid Work
The Daily Telegraph has published statistics of the largest recipients of legal aid work. It has obtained these statistics by using freedom of information laws. The Daily Telegraph does not specify the type of legal work although the context seems to indicate that it is for criminal matters. The values shown include disbursements.
Click image below to see the table at the Daily Telegraph (scroll midway down the page).
8 July 2013 - The Access to Clothing Crisis
Access to Clothing is a complex issue that seems almost impossible to effectively address. Some consider it one of our most pressing issues. The well-off continue to be able to afford appropriate clothing for all occasions ... read more
4 July 2013 - Three Year Conveyancing Market Outlook
At Legal Practice Intelligence we have observed that a reliable indicator of property sales volumes is the direction of property prices. When prices are going up, sales volumes are going up also. When prices are going down, sales volumes are going down.
If this pattern continues over the next three years and BIS Shrapnel's property price forecasts are realised, then residential conveyancing looks bright in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Queensland and Perth.
By contrast, it looks like a gloomy time ahead for conveyancing in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra. BIS Shrapnel's forecast is that residential property prices in these cities will decline in real terms over the next three years.
Of course there are many other factors that influence the business of conveyancing. One of these is the supply of conveyancers. Recent figures have become available that show the number of licensed conveyancing businesses in NSW increased by approximately 20% from three years ago.
BIS Shrapnel Residential Property Price Forecasts
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